How to Sell an Apocalypse

It surely hasn’t escaped the attention of any regular reader of this site that The Disinformation Company has produced a documentary film about the 2012 phenomenon. Among others starring in our film are Daniel Pinchbeck, Lawrence E. Joseph and John Major Jenkins. About 10 months ago Sony Pictures asked us to urgently overnight a copy of our film to their marketing team in Culver City, CA in connection with the Roland Emmerich 2012 disaster film that they were already working on. We never heard another peep out of them, but I suspect they agreed with our choice of experts. As this New York Magazine article reports, Pinchbeck, Joseph and Jenkins were the 2012-ologists at a fancy 2012 movie launch event, and it seems that they did us proud:

In the Cottonwood Ballroom at the Four Seasons in Jackson Hole, Wyoming, the New York neo-shaman Daniel Pinchbeck sipped Fiji water and prepared to discuss the end of the world. The Mayan calendar ends on December 21, 2012, and Pinchbeck has built a multiplatform enterprise on the notion that something drastic will happen on that date—maybe.

But 2012 is also the name of a big-budget disaster movie based on the Mayan scenarios depicted in Pinchbeck’s books. To promote the film, Sony Pictures sponsored this junket, featuring the stars and director of the movie; three 2012ologists, including Pinchbeck; and a tour of Yellowstone National Park, which the film destroys.

But nobody in the Four Seasons seemed to believe that the end was near, least of all Pinchbeck, who was once described in the Times as “equal parts Jesuit and Jim Morrison” and is known for ingesting psychedelics in the Amazon. “I’m not a fundamentalist about the date,” Pinchbeck said, and his fellow 2012ologists nodded in agreement. Yet all three continue to publish alarmist books with 2012 in the title.

“Two thousand twelve is this date, you know, which there’s a lot of ideas about,” said the director Roland Emmerich, who demolishes the White House for the second time in his career with this movie. “And we chose the destructive one.”

After giving PowerPoint presentations, the 2012ologists were dabbed with makeup and subjected to a gauntlet of five-minute television interviews. They were asked countless variations on the same question: “Will the world really end in 2012?” The 2012ologists answered, patiently at first, “Actually, the Maya never predicted any doomsday scenario” …

Daniel’s best line was right at the end of the article:

When I asked the 2012ologists how they planned to sell books in 2013, Pinchbeck glanced up from his screen and offered, with a glint of hope, “1984 still sells well.”

I hope so too!


Majestic is gadfly emeritus.

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